Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, May 7, 2021

Promising Young Woman

From Daily Californian:

Content Warning: Sexual assault, graphic violence, suicide.

This article contains spoilers for Emerald Fennell’s film, “Promising Young Woman.”

91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Four Golden Globe Nominations. Five Academy Award Nominations. Six Critics Choice Award Nominations. With critical acclaim comes cultural discussion, and audiences are lapping up the daring questions posed in Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut, “Promising Young Woman.”

In its trailers and marketing, “Promising Young Woman” comes off as a subversive, feminist rewrite of the “rape-revenge” genre, where a (usually female) protagonist survives a brutal sexual assault, undergoes personal rehabilitation and exacts revenge on their rapist. Fennell’s film lurches in the aftershocks of a world after the #MeToo movement, examining the entrenched culture of misogyny that empowers predators and buries the harm they have done.

“Promising Young Woman” unravels the idea of “not all men,” a phrase which argues that there are “nice men” in the world who are not sexist or rapists. Instead, the movie creates a world in which it is all men — a world where every single man carries the capacity to do harm and enact evil.

To be clear: This isn’t the problem in “Promising Young Woman” — in fact, the absence of good men is one of the movie’s most fascinating parts.

Read more here.

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